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Monday, January 16, 2006

Happy Birthday Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Another MLK day is upon and I'm taking time to reflect on Dr. King's dream.

The Boondocks episode last night was aboutDr. King waking up in the year 2000 after been in a coma instead of dying in 1968. He woke up to see Black Americans and America in total chaos. The episode was RAW and REAL. It's how a great number of us are living and it's how nearly ALL of Americ and the world sees us. Very very sad.

There are some pressing issues that weren't addressed in the TV show like the fact on any given day that 1 in 3 Black men are in prison or on parole or probation. That 1 in 7 Black men can't vote because of disenfranchisement. Black women is the fastest growing segment of the prison population. 25% of Black Americans live in poverty, compared to 9% of whites. 70% of Black babies are born to single mothers. Our health is in shambles, we die of prevventable and treatable diseases Hypertension, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity, AIDS and others. Each one of these issues deserve a post of their own. Everything about Black America is not bad and I will make it a point to address the good in later postings. It's only been about 40 years since we've truly been free in the country and we've made some incredible progress. I am an incredibly proud Black American woman with a deep love of my people and my culture.

I wonder how Dr. King would feel about his own family. None of children married or had children of their own so it is quite possible that the King bloodline will die out. Right now today his family is fighting over control of the King Center. I have to give them credit for NOT taking this fight public and staying tight lipped about it.

Since the big picture of Black America is overwhelming to look at as a whole I tried to bring it closer to home for me. I looked at my own family and it's progress. My grandfather moved his family to Detroit from Crenshaw County, Alabama in the 40s for a chance of at a better life. He landed a job working at Cadillac Motor Company in 1945. He purchased our what became our family home in 1955 in what was a racially intergated neighborhood in Detroit. It was three blocks over from the Ossian Sweet house. I remember being a little child and watching the pride of my grandfather burning the mortgage papers on the front porch once the house was paid off. I'll never forget the pride on my grandfathers face. That house sheltered his children, grandchildren (including me for 17 years), great grandchildren, cousins, distant relatives, friends of family. We all knew that as long as that house existed we had a place to live. Today the house sits board up and in shambles. A shell of its former self. My grandfather passed away in 1980 and my grandmother (who is a subject unto herself) moved out in 1997, she has since been diagnosed with Alzheimers, she will be 96 years old this year. Their grandchildren and great-grandchildren eventually turned our family home into a drug house. It's been raided several times and the last time the police made sure that the house was uninhabital. I know I'm digressing a bit, but it really hurts that my grandfathers descendents destroyed what he works so hard to build. It's the same thing with Black America and Dr. King's dream. We're destroying his dream and leaving it in Shambles.

I really hate extra long post and I will do a part II detailing my family more. I don't want y'all to get to bored reading it all.

Posted by Shawn :: 10:48 AM :: 10 Hollered

Holla At Yo Girl!